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Sarah’s blog 24/7/22

Just a short post from me today as I’ve got an issue with my laptop that will hopefully be sorted by tomorrow. It’s times like this that I realise that technology isn’t my forte… but thank goodness for friends who can help.

Douglas & Lynda delivered another load of boxes to Dundee yesterday. Stuart & I spent a couple of hours yesterday packing boxes. The Bananabox Trust shed in Dundee will soon be full again and then they will book another container. It won’t be long until the current one arrives at it’s destination .

Hopefully, I’ll have an update on the kilometre challenge for you tomorrow with some photos too.

So I want to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ again to everyone who supports us. We really do appreciate you.

I love this photo from The Foundation Christmas Party where younger children were all given a rain jacket, a pencil and a lolly. Smiles like this are so good to see.

Our website is having visitors from all over the world which is brilliant! This week some of the countries from which people have viewed our website are; Thailand, Spain, U.K., USA, UAE, Canada, Israel, China, Netherlands, Malawi, Ireland, Peru, Zimbabwe, Libya, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Antigua and France.

You can keep up to date with the most recent news by signing up to receive my blog. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

Bright Futures Fundraiser – join in!

Sarah’s blog 30/6/22

Every child, no matter where they are in the world, deserves an education. Let’s build a school! We need you on our team.

Here is the link with the information you need to join in our challenge! https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9 It is a huge challenge for our team to travel the 13,144 km that is one of the routes the container travels. It also includes the journey from here (Balfron, Scotland) to Dundee to the Bananabox Trust warehouse and in Malawi the distance from Ekwendeni which is the final destination of the container back to Chitipa that Levison will make. We have used Chitipa as the nearest destination on all maps to The Foundation.

https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9

So we are looking for families to join in as well as serious athletes and gentle walkers. Oh and bored teenagers who would like to keep their fitness up over the school holidays – we’d love to hear from you too! Maybe you could have an element of competition with your friends? Do you need to learn something new for your Duke of Edinburgh Award? Or do some volunteering? This challenge could be used for either of those.

The more people who help us, the quicker we can do this challenge. The more people that take part and are sponsored, the more money we raise. The more people who share our posts then the wider the audience so we aren’t always asking the same people. We would absolutely love people right across the world to take part in our challenge. This is a challenge to raise funds to build a secondary school for some of the most vulnerable children in Northern Malawi. It would be fantastic to have people from our global community taking part and raising funds to build a school and give the gift of education.

The challenge starts tomorrow, 1st July, and you can do as many or as few kms as you want. Please ask your friends to join in and please ask people to sponsor you. Together we can keep Changing Lives Malawi. Together we can build a school. Land clearing has already started and bricks are being made. Thanks so much for your continued support and let me know if you have any questions, thank you, Sarah x

https://forms.gle/twQYfx7LRRrtvdhx9

https://gofund.me/44a92444

some of the first bricks being made for Bright Futures Secondary School

Fundraiser – get involved – let’s build a school

Sarah’s blog 30/6/22

I’m not very technically minded but, thankfully, I know a few people who are. Very soon, we will be launching a fundraiser where anyone who wants to be involved; wherever you are in the world, whatever your ability or age….you CAN make a difference.

We are going on a very long journey, and you can join us, by whatever means you want. The more people who join in then the more sponsor money there will be and the quicker we can complete this challenge. We need to build a secondary school as there aren’t enough places currently. We need to raise more money in order to do this. We need your help and they children are relying on your help and our help. So will you join us?

You can walk, run, cycle, hop, skip or jump or use your visit to the gym to log miles on the running machine, exercise bike or rowing machine. Kids can join in, families, individuals, friends. There can be a competitive element between friends or a whole club could see how far they got in a night by adding their miles together. Please, please join us. We can’t do it without your help.

ALL CHILDREN DESERVE AN EDUCATION WHEREVER THEY ARE IN THE WORLD. Can you help us by raising a few £££ sponsorship money or sponsoring us? Let’s do this. As a team we can build a school and continue Changing Lives Malawi. Get in touch to register your interest and watch this space for more information. Thanks for reading, Sarah x contact_us@changinglivesmalawi.com

we need you to join our team
please help us raise funds for a school and have fun and set yourself a challenge!

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Completed!

Sarah’s blog 1/6/22

Challenge Completed! Today feels quite strange. My challenge is over. I’ve completed what I set out to do. I have far exceeded what I thought I could do on my exercise bike so I am quite proud of myself. I intended to cycle 10km a day to represent some of the younger children walking 5km to school and 5km home again. I never thought that by the end of the month I would be able to cycle 31km! That was a challenge in itself but I was determined….for the children.

I have eaten rice and vegetables every day – raising awareness for what the children have at the Feeding Programme. (I’ve had rice instead of maize flour). I’ve been eating every day. Even then I have had to occasionally have an egg or two or a piece of fruit to supplement my diet. At times, I was so tired, had a bad headache and occasional nose bleed. Unfortunately, the feeding programme can only run once a week for approximately 500 children as, at the moment, we cannot afford more money for it to feed the children more often. No big agencies are feeding children in this area, so the responsibility lies with The Foundation with us supporting them financially. I had a choice to do this challenge. The children whom The Foundation supports have no choices.

I’ve lost 14lb in weight which I’m delighted about. I am looking forward to adding in more food groups and not being so strict about what I’m eating. However, I do still intend to keep cycling…. not 31km though! Maybe after a short rest, I will think up another challenge….or for a large donation maybe someone could suggest a cycling challenge for me on my exercise bike!

This challenge is over but I still have the big challenge of raising money to build a desperately needed school as there are not enough places in the nearest secondary school. If you don’t get picked for a place at secondary school then you don’t get to go. All children deserve an education. All children should have access to education. All the children supported by The Foundation know that education matters and that it is their way out of poverty. They know it is their way to a better future for themselves and their families.

Please help me give the gift of education to hundreds of vulnerable children in rural Northern Malawi. Together we can continue Changing Lives Malawi. Let’s build a school! https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Thanks for reading and your support, Sarah x

https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 please give generously to give the gift of education
Yay! I did it! 31 days of May Challenge Completed! https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Let’s build a school!

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 24, 25 and 26

Sarah’s blog 26/5/22

7am. So glad I am nearly at the end of my challenge. It’s tough because I am thinking about the food that I will be able to have next week and it’s making it harder to keep going with all the vegetables and rice!

As I had done 20km on my bike that I mentioned in my last blog, I decided just to do 10km on my bike for the next couple of days as my legs were sore.

I’ve been eating rice with mixed vegetables, lots of roasted vegetables, soup and a waldorf salad. Trying to drink enough water and finding that quite hard to fit in an extra couple of glasses. As I was out a lot yesterday, I did have a shop bought pack of melon and mango which tasted amazingly sweet and delicious.

6.30pm Just cycled another 20km and really pleased with myself! Never thought I’d be able to do that at the start of this challenge… I was struggling to get past 5km. So I will definitely try for at least two more 20km before I finish.

I decided to do this challenge for the following reasons;

  1. To raise money to build a much needed school as there are not enough places in the local secondary school. If you don’t get picked for a place in secondary school then you don’t go. Education should be available to all. It is the children’s way out of poverty to build themselves a better future.
  2. To raise awareness of the Feeding Programme and what the children have to eat. I am eating rice (instead of maize flour) and vegetables. I am fortunate that I have a choice. I am fortunate that I am eating more than once a day. I am fortunate that I am only doing this challenge for 31 days in May. The Feeding Programme feeds 500 children and young people once a week with a substantial and nutritious meal. As there are no big agencies feeding children in schools in that area, some children are walking from 20km away for this one meal a week. There will be some children who do not eat every day. Teachers have said that children are able to concentrate better and their grades have improved since The Feeding Programme was implemented. It’s not enough but better than it was. We would love to be able to send money to feed the children more often.
  3. I set out to cycle 10km a day on my exercise bike to represent how far the younger children are walking to and from school (approximately 5km each way). However, some days I have been able to cycle 15km and have even done one 20km. I will try to do another couple of 20km before my challenge ends.

If you think that all children deserve an education please donate to my fundraiser https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Please help me help the children.

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 14

Sarah’s blog 15/5/22

Good morning! Things went a bit downhill yesterday. I’ve been so tired and had a headache all day. I still went on my exercise bike yesterday but only managed 10km. I’d stuck to rice and vegetables but by dinner time Stuart and I both decided I needed something else to eat, so he made me an omelette. It was lovely to have something different to eat but I didn’t really enjoy it as I should have as I was feeling so guilty that I’d had to supplement the rice and vegetables. Despite having an early night too, it took me ages to get to sleep because of a headache.

That isn’t really what I wanted to report at day 14, two weeks into my challenge, but it’s about honesty and just eating rice and vegetables for a month is obviously harder than it sounds because of lack of nutrients in my diet. So although I am determined to stick to completing this challenge, I will be making sure I have more beans and I’m also going to add a multivitamin each day. There is no point in making myself really poorly through this challenge, I need to be sensible as lots of people are depending on me. Yesterday was a warning that my body is needing more than I’m giving it through rice and vegetables. I’ve still got a headache today but hopefully it will go once I’ve eaten and had some vitamins.

How do the malnourished children in Ibuluma cope? No wonder they can’t concentrate as well at school if their basic needs aren’t being met like they should be. Thankfully, the Feeding Programme is making a difference to them although it’s only once a week. By planting fruit tree saplings we are investing in their future food and a source of income. We need to keep investing in this community to help them to future self-sufficiency. Planting even more fruit tree saplings is a great, and relatively cheap way to achieve this. At £10 for 4 saplings it’s an ongoing project that you can donate to at any time.

I’m needing your support please as I continue with my challenge to raise funds for building a school. There are not enough school places. Education is the way out of poverty for the orphans and other vulnerable children. All children deserve the gift of education. Please donate https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 thanks for reading, Sarah x

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 13

Sarah’s blog 13/5/22

12.15pm Pot of soup made! 15km on exercise bike done! I’m doing ok but finding it quite hard to concentrate on other things apart from this challenge today. I’ve almost completed two weeks and I’m really pleased that I’ve had the willpower to do this challenge….I just need to keep going and need your help. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

The thought that the hundreds of malnourished children supported by The Foundation don’t have the choices I have is keeping me going and focused on my challenge. They don’t have the luxury of choosing which vegetables they will be eating and how they will be cooking them. They might go a whole day without eating at all. Things are improving for them but there is still a long way to go.

Having a school in their village will make a huge difference. It will bring employment as well as education for all. It will mean that young people don’t need to board at school and can stay at home and help their families with chores. All children deserve an education. All children deserve enough to eat. All children deserve to have the opportunities to be the best they can be. Please support my challenge to build a school for them.

I thought I’d also show you a photo of some beautiful knitting for babies that we received recently. These little jackets will be so appreciated by new mothers for their babies. We are very grateful for all the donations and support we receive to help us continue Changing Lives Malawi. Thanks for reading, Sarah x https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

beautiful knitting for babies in Malawi that we received recently

two lots of tasty soup I made this week – glad of a different way to eat vegetables

15km done today

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 11 and 12

Sarah’s blog 12/5/22

11.30am There wasn’t much to report yesterday. I did 10km on the exercise bike and ate rice and veg. I have been finding the last few days harder, I think because it’s a bit colder and I’m wanting something a bit different from salad and rice. Last night I did open a tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce and had half of that tin with rice which was a nice change. I am currently making some soup which I am looking forward to.

6pm My soup was delicious….even if I say so myself lol. Sweet potato, broccoli and stilton. I only used a little bit of stilton to give it some flavour…it’s been nice to have vegetables in a different form today! I’ve just cycled 15km so if you think I’m doing ok then please donate and share my posts. I’m almost two weeks into my challenge and have cycled further than I first thought so I’d love your help to build a school for the children so everyone can go to school. Thanks for reading, Sarah x https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

31 Days in May – Sarah’s Challenge – Day 9

Sarah’s blog 9/5/22

Day 9 already! It’s been a busy one as I’ve completed a grant application and an article for a magazine. I enjoyed my lunch today as it had some herb butter on it (just a little bit) but just that made it taste wonderfully different to what I have been eating. I’m grateful for little choices that I can make….the malnourished children in Malawi that we are supporting don’t have that choice…their choice is trying to find enough food and to survive. https://gofund.me/ca9c1629

Thankfully, we support the Feeding Programme to feed 500 children a substantial, nutritious meal once a week as there are no big charities feeding children in schools that far north. Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to feed them more than once a week. We would love to be able to set up a Porridge Programme so that each child has some food in their tummy each day before lessons. However, that would cost a great deal of money. Eventually, once the situation improves for the villagers, they will be more self-sufficient and there will be more employment, more food and they will be able to feed themselves.

I went on my exercise bike…with my tablet next to me on top of the drawers next to my bike. I must have been so into the story I was reading that I looked up and I’d already gone past 10km….so I thought I’d keep going….guess what? I cycled 15km today. My legs are a bit like jelly but I did it!! If you’d like to support my efforts and my fundraising to build a much needed school then please donate at https://gofund.me/ca9c1629 Thanks for reading, Sarah x

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